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Top-to-Bottom Green: Berkeley, CA

As a design/build architect and remodeling specialist, Maurice Levitch of Levitch Associates had always helped clients select design elements and materials based on economic factors and aesthetics. Recently, the combination of a client’s request that he learn more about sustainable building and an employee’s suggestion that he get certified as a green builder prompted Levitch to take a closer look at green building philosophies and methods.

Giving an Old House New Life: Berkeley, CA

Built 1908, Michael Boal's 2,200-square-foot Berkeley home was “remuddled” a few times over the decades, but still retained much of its traditional style. Boals brought in David Grubb Construction to rebuild the back of the house while preserving its nearly 100-year-old spirit. “Green building principles were used from literally top to bottom for this project — from the photovoltaic panels on the roof down to the high flyash concrete foundation,” says Grubb. 

Victorian Revamp: Berkeley, CA

Berkeley residents Kristin Leimkuhler and Jeffrey Wilk hired McCutcheon Construction to modernize their 1894 Victorian while preserving the building’s traditional exterior. Raising the house by three feet allowed them to transform a six-foot-high unfinished basement into a contemporary wheelchair-accessible first floor, doubling the home’s size to 2,815 square feet.

Harmon Gardens: A Healthy Home Environment for Local Youth

Harmon Gardens provides 15 studio apartments for one of the Bay Area's most underserved populations, transition-age youth. The community provides a permanent home where residents can develop independent living skills while receiving supportive services.
Harmon Gardens earned the Bay-Friendly Rated Landscape designation for its sustainable landscape design. A permeable cobblestone pathway leads from the building entrance to a private courtyard garden, where contoured planting beds act as bioswales that capture 85% of average annual stormwater runoff.

Dona Spring Animal Shelter: A Healthy Landscape for People, Pets and Wildlife

The Dona Spring Municipal Animal Shelter, a beautiful new facility at the north end of Berkeley's Aquatic Park, replaces a well-worn shelter built in the 1950s. Named in honor Dona Spring, a former Berkeley Councilmember and longtime advocate for animal welfare, the new shelter is highly visible from the freeway and more accessible to visitors and volunteers.


TraX, founded in Berkeley, is a new social impact media platform that encourages positive “reuse actions,” such as bringing a reusable cup, bag or straw to stores when shopping. Shoppers take action by photographing their reuse items via Instagram or Facebook mobile apps, add the store location and the #traXactions hashtag and share the action online for cash rewards.


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